Friday, July 14, 2006

1100 +

This is just a simple thanks to the growing group of people who read my blog!

I am flattered that you're here - still here in many cases - and that you grace my blog with your eyes and intellegence.

Those of you who are new, I hope you'll go back into the archives and read the old stuff, a lot of which is on parenting - and no, I"m not done with that subject yet; how could I ever be?

I am always open to suggestions and ideas and I will consider publishing other people's writing, provided it meets my personal guidelines. Go to my profile for an e-mail address you can send to. I will contact you personally.

Here's to the next 1100.

WriterWriter

Now THAT's a Great Sales Technique!

Today about noon, as I was just racing back into my home office, the phone rang. Thinking it to be a client, I grab it off the hook and recite my welcome answer - into the electronic ear of some recorded message that is telling me I'm so lucky to have been randomly selected for an all-expenses paid trip to Florida and Bahamas.

Wow! I am lucky. Except for the part where I detest being bothered by these no-minds who can't find a decent job anywhere other than with companies that intrude on the unwilling.

It is almost certainly a scam. However, being the curious sort, I press 9 as directed, wait for a few seconds and am connected to a guy who is obviously from the southern US - another thing that annoys me to pieces. I'm biased, yes, but a guy who sounds like he's from the Ozarks AND works for a corporate slug... We'll just say it didn't inspire confidence.

His first question was about my name. I lied. I said Ann. With an E. With this tiny introduction, said hillbilly asked my phone number. I answered that I'd like to hear more about what he was offering before offering my phone number to a stranger. His reply?

"I'm not telling you anything because you're being a jerk."

Seriously.

So, they randomly pick my name, call me in the middle of a business day with an offer that is doubtless junk and probably not actually available in Canada (given the US population's propensity to belly-button gazing) and then they insult me because I won't give my phone number to a total stranger from a country that houses the largests number of on-line fraudsters in the world (according to this month's Wired)?

Yah. That should work. I'll run right out to buy stuff from that company!

Oh wait. They don't want us to know THEIR phone number, which is blocked.

Good job too because otherwise, I would have sent them an invoice for taking up my time with their inane offer. Yes, this has been done and very successfully. So successfully in fact that the US Do Not Call list was the result. If a person is on the DNC list and they receive solicitation of this sort, they do have legal recourse. If only in Canada.

If I could call that company and speak to the idiot's boss, guaranteed, I'd see him fired in less than one minute, partly for bothering me at all but mostly because nobody calls me a jerk without at least having known me for an appropriate 10 minutes.

In lieu of having access to a contact phone or real, educated human who speaks an intelligible language, here is a couple sites that have information on how to protect yourself from this kind of fraud. Sadly, there's no info on how to get rid of phone-billies.
National Consumer League
Travel Science

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quotes from the Truly Stupid

So, some months ago in my city, this wonderful human being was going about defrauding cancer victims. His ploy was to hang about the hospital ATM machines, pretent he was also sick (with cancer, not assholicness) and plead problems when he spotted a victim.

This wonder of honesty managed to scam several very ill people out of substantial money before he was caught. It came out later via his criminal record, which was long and full of fraud related everything, that he'd been up to this for ages. There were some 100 fraud charges on that record.

So last week he was quoted as saying that the media had ruined his life and that all the publicity had got him a bad name.

Now I ask you: how does a guy who as a 20 year career in screwing people over manage to rationalise his behaviour enough to blame the media that reports his activities?

Does it not occur to said genius that, had he not lived a life of manipulating innocent people, that he wouldn't have a record and the media wouldn't bother with him?

I dunno. Sometimes humans boggle my mind.

Here's the article from The Calgary Sun, written by Mike McIntyre. Check out Mike's blog at www.mikeoncrime.com

"CALGARY (CP) — A con man who targeted elderly or disabled victims told a Calgary court Wednesday that publicity his court case has ruined his life and the lives of his family.
Bryan Andrew Casavant said media reports following his guilty pleas in April have crushed his family, including his nine-year-old daughter.
“My little girl now knows what’s going on, it’s killing me, it’s literally killing me,” he told provincial court Judge Anne Brown.
“After the media did what they did to me, my wife had to basically quit at Husky — it’s killing her,” Casavant said. “My little girl is crying all the time.”
Defence lawyer Mitch Stephensen argued the adverse publicity should be a factor Brown takes into account when Brown sentences his client.
Stephensen said judges in other cases — including the Alberta Court of Appeal in the case of a former Lethbridge alderwoman — have considered public scrutiny to be a mitigating factor.
In reducing Dar Heatherington’s community term last November, the province’s top court said media scrutiny was something to consider.
“Mr. Casavant has been seriously vilified in the press,” said Stephensen, who is seeking a jail term of two to three years.
Casavant, 44, conned more than $20,000 out of 16 victims in Calgary, Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and Kelowna, B.C.
He targeted his victims during a three-month span between last September, and his arrest on Dec. 12.
Among those he swindled were hospital patients suffering a variety of ailments including terminal cancer, and several seniors, including two in their 70s and another two in their 80s.
In April, Stephensen said Casavant cheated his victims to get cash to support his family and pay for medical expenses, such as a hearing aid for his daughter.
Crown prosecutor Peter Barley is seeking a prison term of at least 10 years to send a message to others who might target the weak or sick.
Brown adjourned sentencing until Sept. 7, so both Barley and Stephensen can gather more information about Casavant and his criminal past, which includes over 100 convictions."

Mike also references another great case, that of Dar Heatherington, who claimed she was abducted and drugged while on policital Business in Montana two years ago. The funny part of her story - well all of it was funny - and false - was something I found out quite by accident. It seems said Miss had been planning or possibily already engaging in a little tryst with a member of the Lethbridge police force.

Apparently it was somewhat common knowledge that there was some intrigue in the Heatherington family, at least according to my source. She went to great lengths to disguise what I believe was planned infidelity, including placing lewd letters, which she herself wrote, on her own car windshield, and claiming many harassing phonecalls, none substantiated.

After this story broke, said member of the Lethbridge Police service was quietly moved to another location. The missing detail in every news story about this woman who claimed rape, was the lack of male suspect. She had zero description; she refused a rape kit and she wouldn't provide anything that would have allowed DNA evidence, because, I think, the meeting was consentual. Her plan seriously backfired because, although she also claimed she had been drugged, she would not allow any medical processing that would have determined if she had been and with what. The police in Vegas, where she finally turned up, and the Montana police, were skeptical from the get go and that resulted in Ms. H landing a charge of mischief, which she had to attend while under house arrest in her home town. Ironically, she was attended by several members of the LPS.

The sad side story is that Mr. Heatherington is a member of the Lethbridge Fire Department. Seems the boys in blue in Canada and the US are pretty good friends, because the real story has been supressed with great help from the guilty parties, the media, the Lethbridge Police Service and Fire Department and I believe the police south of the 49th. Go HERE for tons of news stories on this gal. Try and find any useful reference to the supposed rapist.